With too much to write for work, the easiest way to capture some highlights of this trip to Australia is by lazily posting a few snapshots. To kick off, here’s a slice of paradise up on the north coast overlooking the Timor Sea, at Faraway Bay.
A pretty eccentric, very hands-on set-up, divine food, superlative views and a mixed bag of Aussie guests – plus a barefoot bushman who took us way out into the bush to some extraordinary rock art sites. Then came a boat-trip along the spectacular King George’s Gorge, one of those red sandstone marvels of the Kimberley region, rich in minerals like silica, manganese, potassium and iron ore, and about 350 million years old. That’s peanuts for Oz.
Further inland lies El Questro, a vast privately owned wilderness park full of wildlife, fabulous views of Mt Cockburn and plenty of natural surprises. The Chamberlain Gorge, similar to King George’s, except far far inland, was one of them. Here’s a rock wallaby that lives on the escarpment, bouncing from ledge to ledge to escape predators and sleeping in the crevasses.
And here’s a particularly illustrious boab tree, a sibling of Africa’s baobab trees (in fact Oz has one species, mainland Africa another, and Madagascar 6 – some of which I’ve seen and they are quite quite spectacular).
Then I moved on, northeast of the Cockburn range, to an inspiringly authentic cattle station – Digger’s Rest. What a place, full of relaxed, easygoing and a few eccentric people (it made me consider how psychologically healthy life in the outback must be surrounded by such immensity and grandeur) plus hundreds of animals – cattle, horses, goats, dogs, chickens – and two pet emus. Here’s one, fleet of foot in a photograpic blur on his way to peck around the bush cabins…
Riding along the King River, a lushly beautiful sweep of water in what can often be severely parched landscapes, was a real treat. One croc spotted, and of course more boabs, a majestic tree I’ll never tire of admiring. Nor of Oz either.